This website has been compiled by Greg Blackmore from the various sources listed below plus information readily available on the internet and is not intended to be published commercially. If anyone has any corrections or further information please contact Greg on Email:

William Hinds was a cousin of the direct descendants of Sydney Grandison Watson of Walwa, Victoria who’s three sons Harry, Sidney and Greg settled Gregory Downs in the Queensland Gulf of Carpentaria in 1877. The Watson Bros of Gregory Downs were great uncles of the writer.

Bill Hinds only sibling was younger sister Zoe Horsfall (b 1923 – d 2019), who lived in Kenya. It was Bill’s nephew Michael Horsfall from Dorset in the UK, who instigated this research. There is another nephew, Charles and niece Susan. At the time of Bill’s death, both his parents had died so his sister Zoe was left without any immediate family, so she moved to Kenya to stay with her Uncle and Aunt. It was on the ship going out that she met her future husband, Robin Horsfall.

(Note: Michael Horsfall visited the crash site and war cemetery, along with Diane Hinds, a first cousin, once removed of Bill Hinds and her husband Vlad Aleksandric in August of 2019)

A special thanks goes to Bob Alford – Bob is the Honorary Consultant Historian to The Aviation Historical Society of the Northern Territory Inc. Bob is a life-member of the Society and the author of “Darwin’s Air War” 1942-1945″ 1991 and re-print 2011, widely acclaimed as the most authoritative tome on the events leading up to, and beyond, the 19th February 1942 when Darwin was heavily bombed by the air-forces of Imperial Japan. Bob originally discovered the wreckage of William Hind’s crashed Spitfire in the 1980’s and was most helpful with the research of this story and to William Hinds’ family in their quest to visit the crash site in August of 2019. Crash sites are now normally never disclosed by the AHSNT. The fact that William Hind’s aircraft was in the Kangaroo Flats Training Area of the ADF has fortunately afforded it continuing protection and arrangements were made with them to view the site.
During 25 years in Darwin Bob compiled a list of over 80 aircraft crash sites, including Bill Hinds crash site and mapped a range of airfield camp sites, military camps and wartime sites generally.-
See Bob’s bio here:

A special thanks goes to Gordon Birkett – Founder ADF Aircraft Serial Numbers for his active research on this story. ADF Serials – RAAF A58 Supermarine Spitfire,.
Gordon took up Aviation research to get the facts straight on the RAAF and USAAF deployments to the Pacific theatre, with particular focus on the early 1942 period. He has provided specific details on aircraft and pilots to specialist authors throughout the years. Gordon is a founding member of ADF Serials and has been their research co-ordinator in WW2 aircraft. He is also a member of the Queensland Air Museum, Caloundra, and a research contributor in assisting pro-bona, authors, websites and the Australian War Memorial who regularly request his assistance in researching WW2 operations and wrecks. His current focus is trying to compile data per all RAAF Spitfires and P-40 Kittyhawks, after having successfully completed such data on RAAF Hudsons, Vengeances and Wirraways for ADF

Wing Commander Robert “Bob” William Foster, DFC, AE, East Sussex, UK. (RAF 605 and 54 Squadrons). The only recent living link with the events of the 7th September 1943, Bob Foster, passed away on 30th July 2014, in the UK,  at the age of 94. Bob had written to and been in telephone contact with Bill Hind’s nephew, Michael Horsfall.

South Australian historian and RAAF member, Peter Pinkerton, has supplied this image of a Fighter Guide Map of the Darwin Area showing a Lion with two black swans, Spitfire aircraft and a layout plan of Truscott Airfield in Western Australia. On 20 July 1944, a Japanese “Dinah” aircraft carrying out a high-level reconnaissance flight in the Drysdale area not far from Truscott Airfield was shot down by three Spitfires from 54 Squadron RAF. This was apparently the last Japanese aircraft to be shot down, air to air, over Australian soil during WW2. Peter served in the RAAF for over 30 years and his father was also in the RAAF and was posted to RAF 54 Squadron whilst they were in Darwin.

The Lion and The Swans and Truscott Airfield

Adelaide River War Cemetery, NT
Pacific Wrecks
The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, Darwin
Paul Brooker of Smarden, Kent, UK. Historian.
Ralph Murphy of London, UK – Son in Law of Flt Lt Robin Norwood of 54 Squadron, Ralph and his wife Gay (daughter of Robin Norwood) authored the 2016 book “The Making of a Spitfire Pilot” from the war diaries of Robin Norwood 1940 to 1946.
Martin Norwood – son of Flt Lt Robin Norwood of 54 Squadron (Flight Commander)
John Tully, Kingaroy, Aus – Nephew of Flying Officer Paul Dominic Tully of 452 Sqdn RAAF
Anthony Cooper – “Darwin Spitfires” 2011 –
The Kings’s School, Canterbury Roll of Honour –
The Australian War Memorial Records (especially page 110 and 111 re Hinds)
Air Defence of Darwin 1942-1944
Legasee UK – Films and interview with F/Lt Bob Foster –
Wikipedia – No 1 Wing RAAF –
Jeffrey Watson – “Killer Caldwell – Australia’s Greatest Fighter Pilot” 2005
Jim Grant – “Spitfires over Darwin 1943” 1995 –
Robert Taylor – Aviation Art (title photo) –
Australian War Memorial, Canberra –
Temora Aviation Museum